The Danny Davis Legacy Fund to Benefit Trousdale School was established by the Tucker Foundation in memory of Danny, a longtime employee. The fund will provide ongoing support in the form of scholarships to The Trousdale School and its mission of serving high functioning adults with intellectual disabilities. The Tucker Foundation has supported the Trousdale School since 2015 when Danny Davis introduced members of the staff to the school’s annual musical production.
Danny himself learned of the school by attending one of their musicals and was deeply committed to their mission from that time on. David Sherlin, a close friend remembers inviting Danny to his first performance. “From the time I invited him to the first ‘Trousdale Musical,’ he was hooked. He was a man of integrity and deep faith. I believe it was his deep faith that allowed him to see the amazing value of every life at Trousdale School.” Danny was married to his wife Angie for twenty-eight years, and together they had two children and five grandchildren. He was also a true outdoorsman, who loved hunting, fishing, and camping. He was deeply loved and will be dearly missed by all who knew him. Matt Bentley, co-worker and close friend for nearly 25 years said, “Danny felt especially called upon to help those who were less fortunate or uniquely challenged. He believed in and genuinely loved The Trousdale School, its mission, faculty and students. It is only fitting that this scholarship be named in his honor. He would be so proud!”
The Trousdale School was established by Tom and Judy Johnson as their personal commitment to provide an educational experience beyond high school for high functioning adults with intellectual disabilities. Tom and Judy’s third child, Sarah, was born with Down Syndrome in the mid-1970’s. After Sarah completed high school, there were few options available for her to continue her education. The Johnsons founded the Trousdale School to provide an affordable educational experience for Sarah, and other adult students like her, where they could achieve greater independence, productivity and an improved quality of life.
Trousdale School serves high functioning adults with intellectual disabilities, providing academics and life skills for the purpose of learning independence. The vision of Trousdale School is “Learning for Life.” They strive to be an authentic community in which students are empowered to continue learning across all dimensions of their lives, both inside and outside the classroom. Their emphasis on real-world situations and the application of knowledge and skills can be termed “life-wide” learning. According to Shannon Clark, Executive Director of Trousdale School, their approach is a balance between the classroom and the real world. “We want our students to learn it here, so that they can live it out there.” The school views education holistically, incorporating traditional classes like science, math and reading with classes that inspire creativity like drama, music and the visual arts. Trousdale also teaches the students vocational skills and helps place the students in jobs that match their skill level. Additionally, the school provides life skills classes with the goal of enabling its students to live independently with minimal supervision. Clearly, Trousdale School’s educational approach of “life-wide” learning does not simply focus on one subset of skills with a student, but rather on skills and interests across the whole life of each individual. At Trousdale School, this learning takes places in a community of true friends who cheer one another on and always strive for excellence. Susan, a student since 2005 says of her school, “It is a special place for special people learning different things. When high school ends we need a place for students with a disability to have a place to learn new things.”
The Trousdale School hosts several events for the community at large to learn more about the work they are doing. On Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 6:00 pm, they will host their fifth annual art show, “From My Perspective.” It will be an exhibition of all artists featuring artists with disabilities. On Monday, April 20, 2020, the school will host their annual golf tournament at Cleveland Country Club. The event begins at 10:30 am. Finally, the highlight of the year, Trousdale’s annual musical will be Friday and Saturday, June 19 and 20, 2020 at the Dixon Center at Lee University. For more information on this event or the Trousdale School in general, please visit their website, www.trousdaleschool.org.
The Tucker Foundation is an independent family foundation providing grant funding since 1994. The primary objective of the Tucker Foundation is to provide financial support to non-profit organizations to produce in young people the character and skills required to live a productive and happy life, along with organizations that conserve essential elements of our natural environment forever. Their geographic focus areas include Chattanooga/Hamilton County, Cleveland/Bradley County and Sheridan and Johnson Counties in Wyoming.
Donations are made by simply writing a check to the Foundation designated to the Fund or online.